Saturday, December 15, 2018

[Arachnida • 2018] Four New Troglophilic Species of Loxosceles Heinecken & Lowe, 1832 (Araneae, Sicariidae): Contributions to the Knowledge of Recluse Spiders from Brazilian Caves

[upper]  Loxosceles ericsoni  Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, 2018;
[lower]  L. cardosoi Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, 2018

in Bertani, von Schimonsky, Gallão & Bichuette, 2018. 

Four new species of recluse spiders from Brazilian caves are described with both males and females. Loxosceles ericsoni Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, sp. n. and L. karstica Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, sp. n. both occur in caves in the Peruaçu region, located in the northern area of the state of Minas Gerais; L. karstica sp. n. is additionally found in the Serra do Ramalho karst area, located in the southwestern region of the state of Bahia. These two species belong to the gaucho group. Loxosceles carinhanha Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, sp. n. and L. cardosoi Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallão, sp. n. occur exclusively in caves of the Serra do Ramalho karst area and belong to the rufescens/amazonica species group. The discovery of two additional and highly distinct species in the rufescens/amazonica group (L. carinhanha sp. n. and L. cardosoi sp. n.) increases the debate on the origin, evolution, and geographical distribution of this widely distributed group of recluse spiders in the New and Old World. The presence of three species (L. ericsoni sp. n., Lcarinhanha sp. n., and Lcardosoi sp. n.) with marked differences in morphological characters in a relatively small area indicates that the region seems to be an important center for Loxosceles diversity, which remains poorly studied.

Keywords: Bahia, brown spider, karst area, Minas Gerais, taxonomy

 Living specimens in their habitats.
55 Loxosceles ericsoni sp. n. female, Bonita Cave, Peruaçu Caves National Park, Januária, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil
56, 57 Loxosceles cardosoi sp. n., Gruna da Altina Cave, Serra do Ramalho karst area, Carinhanha, state of Bahia, Brazil. 56 Female 57 Male.

Photographs by PP Rizzato (55), ME Bichuette (56, 57). 

 Rogério Bertani, Diego M. von Schimonsky, Jonas E. Gallão and Maria E. Bichuette. 2018. Four New Troglophilic Species of Loxosceles Heinecken & Lowe, 1832: Contributions to the Knowledge of Recluse Spiders from Brazilian Caves (Araneae, Sicariidae). ZooKeys. 806: 47-72. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.806.27404

[Ichthyology • 2018] Bythaelurus stewarti • A New Microendemic Species of the Deep-water Catshark Genus Bythaelurus (Carcharhiniformes, Pentanchidae) from the northwestern Indian Ocean, with Investigations of Its Feeding Ecology, Generic Review and Identification Key

Bythaelurus stewarti  
Weigmann, Kaschner & Thiel, 2018

A new deep-water catsharkBythaelurus stewarti, is described based on 121 examined specimens caught on the Error Seamount (Mount Error Guyot) in the northwestern Indian Ocean. The new species differs from all congeners in the restricted distribution, a higher spiral valve turn count and in the morphology of the dermal denticles. It is distinguished from its morphologically and geographically closest congener, B. hispidus (Alcock), by the larger size (maximum size 44 vs. 39 cm TL, maturity size of males 35–39 vs. 21–28 cm TL), darker fresh coloration and dark grayish-brown mottling of the ventral head (vs. ventral head typically uniformly yellowish or whitish). Furthermore, it has a strongly different morphology of dermal denticles, in particular smaller and less elongate branchial, trunk and lateral caudal denticles that are set much less densely and have a surface that is very strongly and fully structured by reticulations (vs. structured by reticulations only in basal fourth). In addition, the new species differs from B. hispidus in having more slender claspers that are gradually narrowing to the bluntly pointed tip without knob-like apex (vs. claspers broader and with distinct knob-like apex), more spiral valve turns (11–12 vs. 8–10) and numerous statistical differences in morphometrics. A review of and a key to the species of Bythaelurus are given.

Fig 1. Bythaelurus stewarti n. sp., holotype, ZMH 26251, adult male, 425 mm TL, in (A) lateral, (B) dorsal, and (C) ventral views. Scale bar: 5 cm.

 Fig 2. Bythaelurus stewarti n. sp., (A) paratype, ZMH 26253, gravid female, 425 mm TL, (B) paratype, ZMH 26252, juvenile male, 340 mm TL, and (C) paratype, ZMH 26253, female embryo, 137.3 mm TL in lateral views. Scale bars: 5 cm.

Bythaelurus stewarti Weigmann, Kaschner & Thiel n. sp.

Error Seamount Catshark

Diagnosis: A medium-sized Bythaelurus species with the following characteristics: body firm and slender; snout long (preorbital length 4.9–7.4% TL) and broad, bell-shaped in dorsoventral view with distinct lateral indention; pre-outer nostril length 0.6–1.4 times internarial space; preorbital snout length 0.7–1.1 times interorbital space; preoral snout length 0.8–1.7 times in mouth width; eye length 10.2–15.5 times in predorsal distance, 4.9–7.7 times in head length and 1.2–2.3 times eye height; head length 2.2–2.6 times width at level of maximum outer extent of anterior nostrils; head width at level of maximum outer extent of anterior nostrils 1.1–1.3 times width at level of lateral indention of head, 1.2–1.6 times preorbital length, and 8.1–10.1% TL; tongue and roof of mouth densely set with knob-like oral papillae; pelvic-fin anterior margin 1.6–3.5 times in pectoral-fin anterior margin; first dorsal-fin base 1.3–2.3 times in interdorsal space; length of second dorsal-fin inner margin 0.8–2.3 times in second dorsal-fin height; second dorsal-fin base length 5.1–8.9% TL; anal-fin base 0.7–1.9 times interdorsal space. Coloration: dorsally dark grayish-brown with rather indistinct dark blotches at nape, on flank, below both dorsal fins, and across caudal fin; ventral side grayish-white, usually with dark grayish-brown mottling on head. Upper jaw with 64–85 and lower jaw with 64–88 rows of small tricuspidate teeth with outer surface of crown furrowed by strong longitudinal ridges and strongly structured by reticulations; monospondylous trunk vertebrae centra 37–42, diplospondylous precaudal centra 37–45, total centra 125–140. Branchial, trunk and lateral caudal-fin dermal denticles loosely set, their surface very strongly and fully structured by reticulations. Claspers rather long and very slender, gradually narrowing to bluntly pointed tip without knob-like apex, inner margin length 10.1–11.3% TL, base width 1.4–1.5% TL; clasper hooks present along inner edge of large exorhipidion, large envelope overlapping part of clasper groove, inner lobe with rhipidion, cover rhipidion, pseudopera and pseudosiphon. The reproductive mode is yolk-sac viviparous. Bythaelurus stewarti n. sp. differs from all congeners in the distribution, which is apparently restricted to the Error Seamount. It further differs from all congeners in a higher spiral valve turn count (11–12 vs. 6–10) and in the morphology of branchial, trunk and lateral caudal-fin dermal denticles, which are loosely-spaced and not overlapping even in adult specimens of the new species, whereas they are closely-set and overlapping in all other Bythaelurus species. Compared to its morphologically and geographically closest congener, the new species further differs in a larger size, a ventral head with dark mottling, claspers that gradually narrow to the bluntly pointed tip without knob-like apex, and a surface of dermal denticles that is very strongly and fully structured by reticulations.

Fig 18. Map of the Indian Ocean depicting the verified occurrences of nine species of Bythaelurus in the Indian Ocean.
The occurrences are based on examined material except for B. clevai (based on one examined specimen plus catch locations of the type specimens taken from Séret [12] and B. alcockii (no specimen available, catch location of the lost holotype indicated as Arabian Sea in Garman [40]). Bythaelurus alcockii: black pentagon, B. bachi: black stars, B. clevai: white triangles, B. hispidus: black (holotype) and white (other specimens) circles, B. lutarius: black triangles, B. naylori: white stars, B. stewarti n. sp.: black and white diamonds, B. tenuicephalus: white squares, B. vivaldii: black square. Inset of the Gulf of Aden area depicts the catch locations of the holotype (black diamond) and paratypes (black and white diamonds) of Bythaelurus stewarti n. sp. on Error Seamount and catch locations of 100 comparative specimens of B. hispidus from off the Socotra Islands (white circles). Country abbreviations follow ISO 3166–1 (OM = Oman, SO = Somalia, YE = Yemen).

Distribution: The new species is known only from the Error Seamount (Mount Error Guyot) in 380–420 m depth (see map in the Discussion section). It is apparently a microendemic species restricted to this isolated Seamount.

Etymology: The new species is named after the late filmmaker and shark conservationist Rob Stewart, who inspired the second author and stimulated her interest in sharks.

Simon Weigmann, Carina Julia Kaschner and Ralf Thiel. 2018. A New Microendemic Species of the Deep-water Catshark Genus Bythaelurus (Carcharhiniformes, Pentanchidae) from the northwestern Indian Ocean, with Investigations of Its Feeding Ecology, Generic Review and Identification Key.  PLoS ONE. 13(12): e0207887. DOI:  10.1371/journal.pone.0207887

Thursday, December 13, 2018

[Mammalogy • 2019] Plecturocebus grovesi • A New Species of Titi Monkey (Primates: Plecturocebus Byrne et al., 2016), from Alta Floresta, southern Amazon, Brazil

Plecturocebus grovesi
Boubli, Byrne, Silva, Silva-Júnior, Araújo, et al. 2019. 

• We describe a new species of Plecturocebus of the Eastern Amazon Clade.
• Genomic (ddRADseq) and mitochondrial data support monophyly of the new species.
• The new species is sister to P. moloch+P. vieirai..
• We predict a total loss of 86% of the new species habitat in the next 24 years.
• The new species can be categorised as Critically Endangered under IUCN A3c criterion.

The taxonomy of the titi monkeys (Callicebinae) has recently received considerable attention. It is now recognised that this subfamily is composed of three genera with 33 species, seven of them described since 2002. Here, we describe a new species of titi, Plecturocebus, from the municipality of Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso, Brazil. We adopt an integrative taxonomic approach that includes phylogenomic analyses, pelage characters, and locality records. A reduced representation genome-wide approach was employed to assess phylogenetic relationships among species of the eastern Amazonian clade of the Plecturocebus moloch group. Using existing records, we calculated the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) of the new species and estimated future habitat loss for the region based on predictive models. We then evaluated the species’ conservation status using the IUCN Red list categories and criteria. The new species presents a unique combination of morphological characters: 1) grey agouti colouration on the crown and dorsal parts; 2) entirely bright red-brown venter; 3) an almost entirely black tail with a pale tip; and 4) light yellow colouration of the hair on the cheeks contrasting with bright red-brown hair on the sides of the face. Our phylogenetic reconstructions based on maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods revealed well-supported species relationships, with the Alta Floresta taxon as sister to P. moloch P. vieirai. The species EOO is 10,166,653 ha and we predict a total habitat loss of 86% of its original forest habitat under a “business as usual” scenario in the next 24 years, making the newly discovered titi monkey a Critically Endangered species under the IUCN A3c criterion. We give the new titi monkey a specific epithet based on: 1) clear monophyly of this lineage revealed by robust genomic and mitochondrial data; 2) distinct and diagnosable pelage morphology; and 3) a well-defined geographical distribution with clear separation from other closely related taxa. Urgent conservation measures are needed to safeguard the future of this newly discovered and already critically endangered primate.

Keywords: Callicebinae, Plecturocebus moloch, New species, Alta Floresta, Amazon

 Plecturocebus grovesi, Alta Floresta titi monkey.

Photo by Fabiano Melo.

Plecturocebus grovesi sp. nov.
Alta Floresta titi monkey

Etymologyซ We named the Alta Floresta taxon after Professor Colin P. Groves (1942–2017) in recognition of his lifelong, preeminent contributions to mammalian taxonomy and systematics, and in particular, primate taxonomy.

Fig. 19. Extent-of-occurrence for Plecturocebus grovesi sp. nov. in the Juruena/Arinos – Teles-Pires interfluvium, and the current and predicted future habitat loss for the species due to deforestation by 2042 under the “Business as Usual” scenario.

Our decision to give new species status to the Alta Floresta taxon was based on: 1) clear monophyly of this lineage revealed by robust genomics data and analysis; 2) an exclusive combination of diagnosable pelage characters; and 3) a well defined geographic distribution with clear separation from other closely related taxa. All lines of evidence indicate that Plecturocebus grovesi sp. nov. is a separately evolving lineage in agreement with the unified species concept of de Queiroz (2007), and also with what Mayden (1997, p. 407) refers to as the “diagnosable and monophyly version” of the Phylogenetic Species Concept (sensu Cracraft, 1983). The new species is found in one of the areas of Brazil where forest is most rapidly disappearing due to the advancing agricultural frontier. Urgent conservation measures are thus needed to safeguard the future of Plecturocebus grovesi sp. nov.

 Jean P. Boubli, Hazel Byrne, Maria N.F. da Silva, José Silva-Júnior, Rodrigo Costa Araújo, Fabrício Bertuol, Jonas Gonçalves, Fabiano R. de Melo, et al. 2019. On A New Species of Titi Monkey (Primates: Plecturocebus Byrne et al., 2016), from Alta Floresta, southern Amazon, Brazil. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 132; 117-137. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.11.012 

[Ichthyology • 2018] Gymnogeophagus peliochelynion • A New Mouth Brooder Species of Gymnogeophagus with Hypertrophied Lips (Cichliformes: Cichlidae) from A Tributary of the río Uruguay

Gymnogeophagus peliochelynion
Turcati, Serra-Alanis & Malabarba, 2018

A new mouth breeder species of Gymnogeophagus is described from a tributary of the río Uruguay. It is distinguished from most species of the genus by the presence of hypertrophied lips, and from G. labiatus and G. pseudolabiatus by the color pattern. The presence of successive allopatric species of the Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys clade inhabiting the tributaries of the río Uruguay is discussed.

Keywords: Distribution; Endemism; Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys clade; New species; Río Uruguay

Fig. 2 Head of Gymnogeophagus peliochelynion (first column), G. pseudolabiatus (second column) and G. mekinos (third column) showing the entirely black hump in males in G. peliochelynion (vs. yellow with black margin), and upper lip not folded dorsally over anterior margin of snout (vs. upper lip folded dorsally in G. pseudolabiatus and undeveloped in G. mekinos).
G. peliochelynion from top to bottom, paratype, ZVC-P 13210, paratype, 76.3 mm SL; ZVC-P 7016, 89.9 mm SL; ZVC-P 13057, 90.2 mm SL.
 G. pseudolabiatus from top to bottom, paratype, UFRGS 7754, 102.0 mm SL; MHNM 4010, 88.8 mm SL; MHNM 4010, 95.3 mm SL.
G. mekinos from top to bottom, MHNM 3511, 105.1 mm SL; MHNM 3511, 97.2 mm SL; MHNM 4009, 121.3 mm SL. 

Fig. 4 Gymnogeophagus peliochelynion: top, holotype, male, ZVC-P 12493, 101.9 SL; bottom, paratype, female, UFRGS 8076, 77.2 SL. Both from arroyo de las Tunas on road 31, tributary of río Arapey Grande, Salto, Uruguay. Photographs taken just after collection and fixation in formalin.

Gymnogeophagus peliochelynion, new species

Diagnosis. The new species can be distinguished from the species of the Gymnogeophagus rhabdotus group and from G. balzanii by the shape of the caudal peduncle longer than deep (vs. deeper than long). It is distinguished from all congeners, except G. labiatus and G. pseudolabiatus, by the possession of thick lips. It differs from G. labiatus and G. lacustris by the lack of an oblique bar from the eye to the dorsal-fin origin (vs. oblique bar present), and by the color pattern of the caudal, dorsal and anal fins with dots (vs. caudal fin and posterior portion of anal fin with longitudinal hyaline stripes). It differs from G. pseudolabiatus and G. mekinos by the hump entirely black in males (Fig. 2; vs. yellow with black margin), and upper lip not folded dorsally over anterior margin of snout (vs. upper lip folded dorsally, usually with a well-developed medial lobe dorsally projected in G. pseudolabiatus).

Ecological notes. The new species was collected in rivers with clear water, usually with rocky or muddy bottom and little vegetation.

Etymology. The name peliochelynion is from the Greek pelios, meaning black and blue, and chelyne, meaning lip, in reference to the color of the lips of the new species. A name in apposition.

Fig. 5 Gymnogeophagus peliochelynion: above, paratype, male, ZVC-P 13210, paratype, 76.3 mm SL, río Arapey, Colonia Lavalleja, Paso Elías, Salto, Uruguay; below, female, ZVC-P 13057, 65.3 mm SL, Arroyo Sopas, Paso del Cementerio, Salto, Uruguay. Photographs of live specimens.

Andréia Turcati, Wilson Sebastián Serra-Alanis and Luiz R. Malabarba. 2018. A New Mouth Brooder Species of Gymnogeophagus with Hypertrophied Lips (Cichliformes: Cichlidae). Neotrop. ichthyol. 16(4). DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-20180118 

RESUMEN: Una nueva especie incubadora bucal de Gymnogeophagus es descripta de un tributario del Río Uruguay. Se distingue de la mayoría de las especies del género por la presencia de labios hipertrofiados, y de G. labiatus y G. pseudolabiatus por su patrón de coloración. Se discute la presencia de sucesivas especies alopátricas del clado Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys habitando los tributarios del Río Uruguay.

Palabras Clave: Distribución; Endemismo; Clado Gymnogeophagus gymnogenys; Especie nueva; Río Uruguay

[Herpetology • 2018] Pristimantis gralarias • A New (Singleton) Rainfrog of the Pristimantis myersi Group (Amphibia: Craugastoridae) from the northern Andes of Ecuador

Pristimantis gralarias 
Guayasamin, Arteaga & Hutter, 2018

Reserva Las Gralarias is one of the best-studied localities of the Ecuadorian Andes in terms of its batrachofauna. However, as expected in any community, some species are rare and, therefore, their discovery and description are problematic. Herein, based on a single specimen, we describe Pristimantis gralarias sp nov. Even though we are aware of the problems associated to singleton species (i.e., unknown intraspecific variation, limited ecological information), our efforts to finding additional specimens have been unsuccessful. Thus, given the importance of species descriptions in threatened areas (e.g. Andes), and that the new taxon is supported by both morphological and genetic data, we consider that the description is justified. Pristimantis gralarias sp nov is easily distinguished from all other members of the P. myersi group by its long and slender fingers and toes, with discs that are not expanded laterally (or are only slightly expanded). Furthermore, the new species is characterized by having a black venter with minute white spots and a red groin. A molecular phylogeny corroborates the placement of the new species in the P. myersi group and its distinctiveness in relation to other species. Finally, we discuss on the limitations and advantages associated to species descriptions based on one or few specimens.

Keywords: Amphibia, cloud forest, Taxonomy, Terrarana

FIGURE 1. Pristimantis gralarias sp. nov. in life, holotype, MZUTI 1466.

Pristimantis gralarias sp nov. 

Etymology: The specific epithet gralarias is a noun in apposition and refers to the type locality of the new species, Reserva Las Gralarias ( We take pleasure in dedicating this species to the reserve and the team of people, led by Dr. Jane Lyons, for efforts on the conservation and research of Ecuadorian cloud forests. As the English common name for this species, we suggest Gralarias Rainfrog. As the common name in Spanish, we suggest Cutín de Las Gralarias. 

Juan M. Guayasamin, Alejandro Arteaga and Carl R. Hutter. 2018. A New (Singleton) Rainfrog of the Pristimantis myersi Group (Amphibia: Craugastoridae) from the northern Andes of Ecuador. Zootaxa. 4527(3); 323–334.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4527.3.2

[Botany • 2018] Viola pachysoma (Violaceae) • A New Name for A Rosulate Species Endemic to the Andes of Argentinian Patagonia

Viola pachysoma

in Watson, Flores, Sheader & Sheader, 2018. 

The species herein, Viola pachysoma, has a long history of confused identity. When recognised as a distinct taxonomic entity it was published as Viola copahuensis. It also acquired a later replacement name, Viola caviahuensis. Each of these in turn has been formally declared nom. illeg. et nom superfl. Consequently, a third epithet for the taxon, V. pachysoma, is coined and presented here. The original protologue lacked a formal diagnosis, so we have added a supplementary version. We also chronicle the species since known to science, including its status as one of the parents of the first recorded hybrid in its section. A discussion and two multi-character tables serve to compare and separate species comprising the poorly understood geographical alliance which incorporates V. pachysoma. 

Keywords: ICN Code, misidentification, natural hybrid, nomen illegitimum, nomen superfluum, section Andinium, sempervivoid, volcanic, Eudicots

John M. Watson, Ana R. Flores, Martin Sheader and Anna-Liisa Sheader. 2018. Viola pachysoma (Violaceae), A New Name for A Rosulate Species Endemic to the Andes of Argentinian Patagonia. Phytotaxa. 382(1); 113–124.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.382.1.6

[Botany • 2019] Pre‐Pleistocene Origin of Phylogeographical Breaks in African Rain Forest Trees: New Insights from Greenwayodendron (Annonaceae) Phylogenomics

Greenwayodendron sp.

in Migliore, Kaymak, Mariac, Couvreur, et al., 2019.

Palaeoecological records indicate that Pleistocene glaciations affected the African rain forest, probably causing its fragmentation, which could explain phylogeographical breaks documented in many tree species. This refuge hypothesis was further tested through species distribution models, hindcasting persistence during the Last Glacial Maximum. However, previous studies failed to estimate with sufficient precision the divergence time between phylogeographical entities to confirm their Pleistocene origin. Developing genomic tools on a representative tree of mature rain forests, we test if parapatric genetic clusters documented in widespread tree species can be interpreted as the legacy of past population fragmentation during the last glacial period(s).

Location: Tropical Africa, Guineo‐Congolian forests.

Taxon: Greenwayodendron (Annonaceae).

To further test the Pleistocene refuge hypothesis by molecular dating, we sequenced the plastome of 145 individuals of the shade‐tolerant rain forest tree Greenwayodendron suaveolens and congeneric species, and genotyped the same samples using nuclear microsatellites to identify genetic clusters.

Five plastid phylogroups of G. suaveolens occur in parapatry throughout Central Africa, following a spatial pattern generally congruent with genetic clusters. Four of them diverged 3.5–4.5 Ma, whereas the fifth one, located in the Cameroon volcanic line (CVL), diverged 8.3 Ma, in the range of divergence times between Greenwayodendron species, highlighting the key role of the CVL in hosting ancient lineages. Within phylogroups, most nodes were dated from 0.9 to 3.2 Myr and a correlation between haplotype divergence and spatial distance was still perceptible, indicating a slow population dynamic.

Main conclusions: 
The phylogeographical structures of Central African trees probably established during the Pliocene or early Pleistocene, and while they might have been reinforced during subsequent glacial–interglacial cycles, interglacial phases did not lead to genetic homogenization. Therefore, interpreting phylogeographical patterns of African trees must account for a much deeper past than previously assumed, and cannot be limited to the last glacial period.

Keywords: African rain forests, evolutionary history, Greenwayodendron, High‐throughput sequencing, molecular dating, nuclear microsatellites, phylogeography, plastome captures, Pleistocene glaciations

The well‐resolved plastome phylogeny of Greenwayodendron species challenges the accepted view of Central African forest historical dynamics by showing that phylogeographical patterns of mature forest trees can have a very ancient origin, pre‐dating the Pleistocene. Our results call for a reassessment of the reference time‐scale traditionally used to interpret phylogeographical patterns in African rain forest trees, earlier than the last glacial cycle. The long generation time of shade‐tolerant tree species, their limited dispersal capacity and their incapacity to colonize open habitats probably explain their slow spatial dynamics, which in turn induces genetic signatures of very ancient historical or biogeographical events.


Jérémy Migliore, Esra Kaymak, Cédric Mariac, Thomas L. P. Couvreur, Brandet‐Junior Lissambou, Rosalía Piñeiro and Olivier J. Hardy. 2019. Pre‐Pleistocene Origin of Phylogeographical Breaks in African Rain Forest Trees: New Insights from Greenwayodendron (Annonaceae) Phylogenomics. Journal of Biogeography.  DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13476  

[Mammalogy • 2018] Neacomys rosalindae & N. macedoruizi An Introduction to the Systematics of Small-Bodied Neacomys (Rodentia: Cricetidae) from Peru with Descriptions of Two New Species

Neacomys rosalindae
Sánchez-Vendizú, Pacheco & Vivas-Ruiz, 2018

The genus Neacomys includes 10 recognized species of Neotropical spiny mice in the tribe Oryzomyini. Five species have previously been reported from Peru, but the small-bodied Peruvian taxa remain unrevised. In this report, we present the first systematic and taxonomic revision of small-bodied Neacomys populations in Peru and describe two new species based on molecular, morphological, and karyotype data: (1) Neacomys rosalindae, sp. nov., from northeastern Peru, is distinguished from congeneric species by, among other differences, short incisive foramina with a wide maxillary portion of the septum, a small subsquamosal fenestra, and a karyotype of 2n = 48, FN = 50. (2) Neacomys macedoruizi, sp. nov., from central Peru, is distinguished by its gray-based ventral fur, large infraorbital foramen, and karyotype of 2n = 28, FN = 36, with a distinctively large pair of metacentric chromosomes. The results of our molecular analyses suggest that N. minutus (as currently recognized) is a species complex comprised of N. minutus sensu stricto, N. macedoruizi, and a third form that remains to be described. The other species described here, N. rosalindae, is the sister taxon to a cluster that includes the N. minutus complex plus N. musseri. Our data suggest that the upper Amazon River constitutes an important dispersal barrier for species in this genus.

FIGURE 1. Neacomys macedoruizi (MUSA 19692). Notice the bicolored ventral fur (image at upper right). Photo by Alexander Pari Chipana.

Neacomys macedoruizi, new species

 Etymology: The species is named in honor of Hernando de Macedo Ruiz (fig. 8), curatorof the collections of the former “Sección de Aves y Mamíferos” and erstwhile director of MUSM,who worked industriously to promote scientific research in Peru. Among his many achievementswere the creation of the journal “Folia Biologica Andina,” the establishment of the “Estación Altoandina de Biología,” the rediscovery of the monkey Lagothrix flavicauda, and the enduring commitment he showed to the improvement of the Museo de Historia Natural (Lima, Peru).

FIGURE 9. Neacomys rosalindae (MUSM 44971). Photo by Víctor Pacheco.

Neacomys rosalindae, new species

Etymology: The species is named in honor of Rosalind Franklin (1920–1958),  whose pioneering  X-ray diffraction studies of DNA structure were an important milestone of 20th century biology.

 Pamela Sánchez-Vendizú, Víctor Pacheco and Dan Vivas-Ruiz. 2018. An Introduction to the Systematics of Small-Bodied Neacomys (Rodentia: Cricetidae) from Peru with Descriptions of Two New Species. American Museum Novitates. 3913; 1-38. DOI: 10.1206/3913.1

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Medinilla theresae (Melastomataceae) • A New Species from Ultramafic Soils in the Philippines

Medinilla theresae Fernando

in Fernando, Quakenbush, Lillo & Ong, 2018. 

A new species, Medinilla theresae Fernando, from ultramafic soils on Dinagat and Mindanao Islands, Philippines is described and illustrated. The species is characterized by its terrestrial erect habit, non-setose nodes, 3-plinerved, lanceolate and coriaceous leaves arranged in whorls, cauline or axillary and pendulous inflorescences, rounded flower buds, 4-merous flowers, and straight anthers. It is compared with other similar species in the Medinilla pendula Merr. complex.

Keywords: Dinagat Island, Medinilla, Melastomataceae, Mt Hamiguitan, ultramafic soils

Figure 1. Medinilla theresae Fernando
 A Habitat at type locality, dwarf forest on ultramafic soils, c. 840 m elevation, Mt Redondo with Mt Kambinliw in the background B Terrestrial, erect growth habit C Leafy branch showing leaves arranged in a whorl and secondary veins faintly visible on adaxial surface D Dried leaf showing adaxial surface with distinct pair of secondary veins E Abaxial surface of same leaf in D without the distinct pair of secondary veins.
B, D, E from Fernando 3831 (LBC), C from Fernando 4166 (LBC). Scale bars: 10 cm (B); 2 cm (C–E). All photos by Edwino S. Fernando.

Figure 2. Medinilla theresae Fernando
 A Pendulous inflorescences arising from nodes near base of main stem and showing flower buds with rounded tips B Inflorescence with buds and open flowers C Close up of open flower. A from Fernando 4166 (LBC) B, C from Fernando 3831 (LBC).
 Scale bars: 1 cm (A); 8 mm (B); 2 mm (C). All photos by Edwino S. Fernando. 

Medinilla theresae Fernando, sp. nov.

Diagnosis: This species is most similar to the Medinilla pendula species complex in its whorled leaves, 4-merous flowers, and pendulous inflorescences. It differs, however, in its secondary veins of leaves being distinct only on the adaxial surface, cauline or axillary inflorescences, and straight anthers.

Figure 3. Medinilla theresae Fernando
A Young infructescence showing light green fruits with bright red calyx rim B Mature purplish-black fruits C Seedling showing foliaceus cotyledons and first two pairs of eophylls, c. 20 weeks old, grown in nursery from seed of Fernando 3831.
A from Fernando 4217 (LBC) B from Fernando 3831 (LBC). Scale bars: 1 cm (A, B); 2 mm (C). All photos by Edwino S. Fernando.

 Figure 4. Medinilla theresae Fernando
A Habitat on Mt Hamiguitan, forest on ultramafic soils, c. 1200 m elevation B Plant on Mt Hamiguitan with branch showing node with four leaves in a whorl and a pair of pendulous inflorescences.
A photo by Edwino S. Fernando B photo by Leonard L. Co.

Distribution: Thus far, this new species is known only from Mt Redondo on Dinagat Island and Mt Hamiguitan in the Pujada Peninsula on Mindanao Island, Philippines. Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte Province, and the Pujada Peninsula form part of the same belt of the Eastern Philippine Cretaceous ophiolite and ophiolite complexes (Balce et al. 1976; Yumul et al. 2003, 2008; Tamayo et al. 2004) that are now large areas of ultramafic landscapes with metallic ore deposits (e.g., iron, nickel, chromium) and hosting a unique type of forest formation (Fernando et al. 2008).

Etymology: This beautiful new species is named in honor of Dr Theresa Mundita S. Lim, former Director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines, and now Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, whose dedication and commitment to protecting Philippine biodiversity is admirable. Director Lim has also been active in the international biodiversity conservation sector.

 Edwino S. Fernando, J. Peter Quakenbush, Edgardo P. Lillo and Perry S. Ong. 2018. Medinilla theresae (Melastomataceae), A New Species from Ultramafic Soils in the Philippines. PhytoKeys. 113: 145-155.  DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.113.30027

[Arachnida • 2018] Five New Scorpion Species of Genus Brachistosternus (Scorpiones: Bothriuridae) from the Deserts of Chile and Peru, with Comments About some poorly Studied Diagnostic Characters of the Genus

Brachistosternus gayi 
Ojanguren-Affilastro, Pizarro-Araya & Ochoa, 2018

Five new scorpion species of genus Brachistosternus of Chile and Peru are described. Brachistosternus gayi n. sp. is a high Andean species of north central Chile. Brachistosternus philippii n. sp. occurs near the coast of Antofagasta. Brachistosternus misti n. sp. occurs at intermediates altitudes of southern Peru. Brachistosternus contisuyu n. sp. occurs in Lomas formation in southern Peru. Brachistosternus anandrovestigia n. sp. occurs in coastal areas of southern Peru, and is the second known species of the genus without metasomal glands or androvestigia. Two diagnostic characters are discussed: the Internal Laminar Apophysis of the right hemispermatophore, and the sternum macrosetae.

Keywords: Scorpiones, Bothriuridae, Brachistosternus, new species, coastal desert, Andes, Chile, Peru

 Andrés A. Ojanguren-Affilastro, Jaime Pizarro-Araya and José A. Ochoa. 2018. Five New Scorpion Species of Genus Brachistosternus (Scorpiones: Bothriuridae) from the Deserts of Chile and Peru, with Comments About some poorly Studied Diagnostic Characters of the Genus.  Zootaxa. 4531(2); 151–194. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4531.2.1

[Diplopoda • 2018] Pelmatojulus tectus • A Giant African Millipede (Spirobolida, Pachybolidae) Re-discovered, Re-located and Re-classified After 120 Years

Pelmatojulus tectus (Cook, 1897)

in Fiemapong & Enghoff, 2018. 

The giant millipede Pachybolus tectus Cook, 1897, described from Zanzibar, East Africa, and never re-collected till now, is re-described based on newly collected specimens from Cameroon, West Africa. The species is transferred to the genus Pelmatojulus Saussure, 1860, and compared with the most similar congener, P. togoensis (Cook, 1897). The type specimen of P. tectus, which no longer exists, probably was mis-labelled. An overview of the distribution of Pelmatojulus species and records of the genus from Cameroon are given, including P. brachysternus (Cook, 1897) as new to the fauna of Cameroon. Pelmatojulus insignis (Saussure, 1859) and P. togoensis are recorded as new to the fauna of Ghana.

Keywords: Myriapoda, Pachybolus, Pelmatojulus, Cameroon, Ghana, Zanzibar, taxonomy

Armand Richard Nzoko Fiemapong and Henrik Enghoff. 2018. A Giant African Millipede Re-discovered, Re-located and Re-classified After 120 Years (Diplopoda, Spirobolida, Pachybolidae).  Zootaxa. 4527(3); 403–413. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4527.3.9

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

[Botany • 2018] Begonia austrovietnamica (sect. Alicida, Begoniaceae) • A Handsome New Species from South Vietnam

Begonia austrovietnamica C.-I Peng, C.W. Lin, D.D. Nguyen & N.D. Truong

in Peng, Truong, Nguyen & Lin, 2018.

Begonia austrovietnamica C.-I Peng, C.W. Lin, D.D. Nguyen & N.D. Truong, a new species from Binh Thuan provice, southern Vietnam, is hereby described and illustrated. B. austrovietnamica resembles B. alicida C.B. Clarke in being a tuberous species with a dormant period, having 4-tepaled staminate flowers and 3-locular ovaries. However, the new species differs from B. alicida in being stemless with basal leaves (vs. erect stem),  strongly asymmetrical (vs. slightly asymmetrical) lamina, inflorescence axillary (vs. terminal), pistillate flowers 6-tepaled (vs. 5-tepaled), ovary narrowly trigonous-ellipsoid (vs. trigonous-spheroid).

Keywords: Begonia alicida, Begonia bataiensis, taxonomy, Eudicots


Ching-I Peng, Nguyen-Dong Truong, Danh Duc Nguyen and  Che-Wei Lin. 2018. Begonia austrovietnamica (sect. Alicida, Begoniaceae), A Handsome New Species from South Vietnam. Phytotaxa. 381(1); 95–99. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.381.1.12